On the eve of the 2019 Rugby World Cup, Wales national Rugby Union team Backs Coach Rob Howley has been sent home from Japan for potential betting rule breaches. The news comes as a significant blow to Wales hopes as Howley, who was due to voluntarily leave his role after the tournament anyway, was a trusted part of Head Coach Warren Gatland’s backroom staff for the upcoming campaign.
The announcement was made by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) on Tuesday, just days before Wales’ first match of this year’s Rugby World Cup against Georgia on Monday.
Off the back of the accusations, the WRU have launched an investigation as, according to World Rugby regulations, anyone within the game suspected of breaching the strict anti-corruption code may face a provisional suspension whilst the investigation is ongoing.
While the nature of breach is unknown publicly at this time, Howley, who racked up 59 caps for Wales and another two for the British and Irish Lions during his playing career, has cooperated fully with authorities and will continue to do so from his home in Wales. Stephen Jones was already going to replace Howley after the tournament but his appointment to the post has now been accelerated.
Only last week Leeds midfielder Jordan Stevens, Everton footballer Yerry Mina and Brazilian tennis player Diego Matos all paid the price for betting, advertising betting and being involved in betting irregularities respectively, while the now former betting partner of Liverpool, Chelsea and Tottenham, 1xBet was frozen out from the UK market.
EveryMatrix Tidies Up Compliance Strategy
Another firm frozen out of the UK market recently is EveryMatrix who, in a bid to rectify their reputation and have the suspension of their operating licence lifted, signed a partnership deal with compliance specialist beBettor.
The software supplier and white label solutions provider last week had its operating licence suspended by the United Kingdom Gambling Commission (UKGC) and is now subject to an ongoing investigation into compliance activity.
Immediately after their sentence was passed, Malta based EveryMatrix pledged to look into and review their practises and this latest encouraging sign sees them make good on their promise.
Calling themselves, the Gambling Affordability Network, beBettor is a London based start-up that aims to help gambling companies understand how much their customers can afford to gamble. To achieve their goal, they have developed an API that can be integrated into partners’ sites in order to run affordability checks on customers. Using information harvested from customers, they promise to provide information with which betting companies can protect their players.
In the current climate of socially responsible behaviour from gaming operators, EveryMatrix’s move is a welcome one.
beBettor chief executive Harry Cott said;
”Affordability and operators’ social responsibility towards customers is an industry-wide challenge that we are delighted to start solving with EveryMatrix in a collaborative way. Given the average online gambler in the UK now has four accounts, isolated operator action will not sufficiently reduce gambling-related harm long-term.
That’s why we’re building a networked approach to understanding customers affordability, which will help beBettor operators power the next generation of their social responsibility policies and procedures for customer interaction.”
Betfred Also Raise Compliance Measures After Tie-in To GiG
The theme of gaming operators strengthening their compliance measures continues as Betfred have now become the latest operator to employ Gaming Innovation Group’s (GiG) automatic site-scanning compliance software, GiG Comply.
GiG, who last week appointed former William Hill Director Stuart Weston as their new Sportsbook Director in place of the outgoing Robin Reed, already supply Comply to bet365 and the Betsson Group, who in the UK are represented by BetSafe.
GiG Comply is capable of scanning over 30,000 web pages daily. The software collects all the data that will aid operators’ marketing departments stay in line with the same strict rules that EveryMatrix and 1xBet initially fell afoul of by monitoring third party marketing activities thus improving their compliance measures.
Data that GiG Comply can help supply will allow Betfred and their affiliates to scour the web in the hunt for mentions of the brand or to ensure that their brand is not being advertised in a non-compliant manner or appearing on non-compliant sites.
Betfred Director of compliance Adele Farrell said;
”Protecting players and abiding by regulations has never been so important – so we are happy to be working with GiG Comply. At Betfred, we want to ensure that our affiliate partners are working in a responsible and compliant way, and GiG Comply is the most effective and efficient way for us to monitor the content they are publishing for our brand.”